If I was to offer only one yoga practice to clients for expanding their intimate pleasure, I would say to sit on your perineum.
Now what exactly is the perineum? It is the center of the pelvic floor, and is located in between your genitalia and anus.
The pelvic floor is the energy point for the first chakra, the root chakra. The pelvic floor is made up of the muscles and tissues that line the pubic bone, supporting the bladder, intestines, and reproductive organs. Toning the pelvic floor gives us more access to intimate pleasure by increasing our sensitivity, and helps men to control their ejaculation and ‘last longer.’
With the proliferation of sedentary lifestyles, I see many clients who constantly sit in chairs with their groin and perineum pushed forward, and their weight resting on the top of their glutes. (This is very conducive to the hunched back phenomenon that we also see.) Considering that the perineum is the center of the pelvic floor, this position is collapsing the pelvic floor onto itself, and making it nearly impossible to tone.
In order to maintain the integrity of the pelvic floor, we should sit directly on our perineum.
Of course, a broader mindfulness of the perineum will help to expand our pelvic floor toning power, and hence expand our capacity for intimate pleasure.
The pelvic floor is the energy point for the first chakra in the kundalini system, the root chakra. The perineum should point in between our feet, which root us to the ground in a more concrete way. As my yoga guru Leslie Journet says, ‘The perineum is the third foot’.
Mindfulness of the perineum during yoga ensures that the pelvic floor will become naturally toned throughout our practice.
You can also try the Mula Bandha practice, a concentrated effort for toning the pelvic floor. Mula bandha means root lock, referring to the pelvic floor as the root chakra, and is akin to the popular Kegel’s exercise. It begins with sitting on your perineum, and consists of contracting the perineum up and down. Unlike the mechanical contraction of the Kegel’s exercise, Mula Bandha practice works in tandem with pranayama (breath work) to contract the perineum up during an inhale of five counts, and then to release the perineum down during an exhale of five counts. The intention of a five minute Mula Bandha practice is to progressively contract and release the perineum more deeply on each breath, toning the pelvic floor and increasing its pleasure receptors through a contraction and release.
The Kegel’s exercise, on the other hand, is typically taught as a quick contraction of the pelvic floor, similar to the sensation of controlling an urge to urinate. This practice has widely been subscribed to women in an effort for her to rebuild a feeling of ‘tightness’. Unfortunately, the mechanical practice of Kegel’s exercises for increased pelvic floor tightness also leads to a hardening of the pelvic floor, which decreases female pleasure sensitivity. We can think of female Kegel’s like a bicep curl: the mechanical curling of a weight, over time, strengthens and tightens the bicep into a hard muscle.
For this reason, I typically do not recommend that women practice Kegel’s exercises. A regular yoga practice with concentrated mindfulness on the perineum positioning, supported by hip alignment and a pulling of the bellybutton towards the spine, is perfect for toning the female pelvic floor into an epicenter of intimate pleasure.
However, there are times when I recommend that men with common sexual dysfunctions practice Kegel’s exercises, in addition to a mindful yoga practice. Most specifically, Erectile Dysfunction and Premature Ejaculation can easily be improved through a regular regimen of Kegel’s type exercises, since it is the pelvic floor that controls the flow of blood and ejaculation to the penis. The male perineum is about three times longer than the female perineum, and most men tend to have less experience in contracting it, so often times, Kegel’s exercises are an excellent way for men to begin regaining control of their pelvic floor.
In addition to yoga principles, much of my work is also founded in the Taoist tradition. Wu Wei is a Taoist concept that refers to 'work without effort', a type of natural flow that occurs when we act in line to our nature, so that the work we are doing is completely pleasurable and non-burdensome. I encourage you to make a habit of sitting on your perineum, and you too can enjoy this work with effort that promises to increase your intimate pleasure.